I have yet to weigh in on the media-generated controversy about Rush Limbaugh’s speech last week to CPAC. It seems the controversy lies in the power and effectiveness of this conservative discourse. Before commenting, I wanted to first read to discover (if I could) the same anger, mockery, bullying and contempt that CNN’s Bill Schneider found in the address.
Yeah, there was some mockery there and even a few expressions of contempt, but there was no anger. Indeed, whenever I listen to Rush or read his stuff (as is more likely the case nowadays), I don’t find much anger in his words, a lot of humor, a good deal of mockery, but anger, no, not much.
It seems that his critics in the media are eager to portray him to fit their narrative of outspoken of conservatives as uneducated, unrestrained rubes. He thus becomes a better target for their scorn as well, to borrow a a few works from Schneider, their mockery and contempt.
What has struck me the most about the speech is not just its quality, but the media’s reaction.Â Following the Administration’s playbook, they have been relentless in their attacks, seeking to shift the story from Rush’s uplifting message to his controversial nature. Despite Rush’s succinct articulation of conservative principles, it did include a handful of over-the-top flourishes that a more judicious orator would have excluded.
But, if Rush were more judicious, he would be less entertaining.
Larry King, normally respectful of his guests no matter what their political views, was eager to pile on. He hosted a panel to discuss the speech and since topic was not Limbaugh in general, but his influence on the GOP, you’d think he might limit that panel to Republicans. But no, he included left-wing blogress and professional celebrity Arianna Huffington in the discussion as well as Stephanie Miller, a progressive (AKA far left) talk radio show hostess.
As I watched them, while sweating out the frustrations of the day on the stairmaster at my gym, I was stunned to hear Huffington drone on and on about how Republicans rewrite history (or maybe it was Miller, couldn’t tell because I was reading the closed captioning, unable to hear the dialogue which I could more readily follow).
And then, it Huffington blamed the current state of our economy on Bush’s deregulation. I just wish somebody would ask any Democrat or other critic of the past president to specify the particular programs Republicans deregulated in the past eight years.Â They repeat the mantra of Republican deregulation over and over again, as if the repetition guarantees its veracity, yet it has little basis in reality.
Just as do their descriptions of Rush Limbaugh as angry.
It would be really nice if some responsible journalist dared ask their critics to be more specific in their criticisms of conservatives. It seems instead they would rather define so they can more readily demean us.